One of my favourite moments this past year was trying to round the delegates up after breaks and lunch at this year’s tourism symposium. It was like herding cats! And the reason for that was because the conversations that had been sparked by both the speaker content and the meeting of like-minded people from across the region were so engrossing and lively that they didn’t want them to end. I pride myself on my deep lifeguard voice that can cut through a room like a knife. However, on this day, it barely sounded like a whisper over the exciting din of 175 people chatting, sharing best practices and talking about ways they could work together.
We – the collective we of business owners, municipalities, DMO’s, CCT and other tourism supporters – seem to have turned a corner in terms of our willingness to work together, understanding that when the tide rises all the boats go up. The interest in collecting and sharing data makes us all able to make stronger, informed decisions which make it easier for us to achieve our goals. I was blown away by the number of businesses wanting to collect customer data and share it to feed an aggregate report so that they can see how they are doing against the average.
The quality and quantity of our partnership requests is another testament to businesses, municipalities, associations and service groups realizing the importance of understanding visitors and making a good experience for them. Many applications are for research, wayfinding, product development and event enhancement in addition to marketing support. A successful project enhances the visitor experience and our partners are really focused on doing that. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to talk to your peers to see what sorts of great projects you can bring forward to partner with CCT on. Just visit our B2B website at centralcounties.ca to learn more about partnership funding.
Sunday marks the end of our fiscal year. I believe that the incredible momentum, collaboration and cooperation we have seen this fiscal will only continue to grow this coming year. With your help, we will be able to provide better, timely visitor data to you. We will work together to tell your stories because it doesn’t really matter where someone learns about the great things you are doing, the important thing is they learn about you from somewhere. And we will create new opportunities for you to meet and work with businesses both from your area and across the region to spark new ideas and products.
Our next big get together is at our AGM which is being held on June 19. We encourage you all to come out to recap 2018-19, learn about more 2019-20 opportunities and connect with others to spark those conversations that will leave me hoarse while trying to reconvene the meeting! I hope to see you all there.
Thanks for making 2018-19 such an incredible year and instilling in me a sense of anticipation for the possibilities of even better things to come.